Real Life Crime

Dennis Nilsen

Dennis Nilsen was a British serial killer and is known for the murders of many men in the 1980s and 1990s. Nilsen was born in November 1945, in Scotland. He was a homosexual, but was never comfortable with his sexuality which is why he began to displace it in the form of murder and dismemberment of his victim’s bodies. At his trial Nilsen confessed to the murder and dissection of 12 men. He was held in a prison in England and died due to natural causes aged 74 years.

Due to his homosexuality, Nilsen became more and more lonely and started to get frustrated with all the encounters he had with men. This led him to release his anger and frustration of not being “normal” onto young males and led him to commit murder as well as necrophilia. His first victim was a male he met in a pub in 1978. He invited him to his house like he had done previously with other males in his sexual encounters. However, as always, like all the other men Nilsen had been with, to stop him from leaving he began to strangle him. He did this with the help of a tie. Then later he used a bucket of water to drown the victim. He then bathed the corpse and placed it next to him in his bed. He tried sexual activity with the corpse, but was unsuccessful, so he just slept next to him. The next morning, he hid the corpse underneath his floorboards. After around seven months, he burned the body to remove any trace of it.

There were around 11 other victims that Nilsen then killed. He did this out of frustration and loneliness. He was once accused of strangling a student during their bondage session, however, there were no charges put against him. Out of the 12 men Nilsen had already killed, only 4 could be recognized. This is also because he usually chose victims who were either without a home, or very poor and without a family.

To dispose of the bodies, Nilsen would boil the heads and crush the bones. To overcome his killing impulse, he moved where there was no outdoor space access to burn the bodies. This led to greater challenges for the killer and he ended up flushing some of the remaining bits down the toilet. This led to drains becoming blocked and ultimately Nilsen was caught by the police.

Upon his arrest, he immediately testified to killing 15 men and the attempted killing of 7 other men. He did not show any guilt or remorse. He even helped the police solve the investigation against him and showed them his old address and the way he disposed of the bodies. He was then put into prison for life with parole after 25 years.

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